GLAAD Supports Trangender Equality

This Sunday on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry,”  Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation announced that in an effort to be more inclusive it would be now known as “GLAAD.” It was also announce that GLAAD would direct more focus to transgender issues.

“This is a reflection of the work we’re doing today, and a reflection of the work the gay and lesbian community needs to be doing,” GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro told MSNBC.com in an earlier interview. “Our name was hindering that in many instances.”

Ferraro also pointed out that shifting societal attitudes created an opportunity to do more. “There have been huge increases in support for gay and lesbians, and for marriage equality. We’ve noticed that trend and wondered how we could use the tactics that the gay and lesbian community had used to get to today’s tipping point [for the trans community].”

“I was happy to hear GLAAD has committed to prioritize trans issues,” said Laverne Cox, an actress and transgender advocate. “They really need to be.”

People who identify as transgender were nearly 30% more likely to be a victim of physical violence than people who adhere to gender norms, according to a 2011 study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, and discrimination based upon gender expression is widespread.

Ms. Harris-Perry discusses transgender issues with guests Wilson Cruz, national spokesperson for GLAAD; New York City Council candidate for the upper west side of Manhattan, Mel Wymore; Janet Mock, journalist and transgender activist; and Kenji Yoshino, constitutional law professor at NYU.

Network images of GLBT people, 2010-2011

GLAAD has released this year’s National Responsibility Index ratings of the television broadcast networks and major cable networks.  

The GLAAD National Responsibility Index examines the quantity and quality of images (called impressions) of LGBT people on television.  It is intended to help media representations be fair, accurate and inclusive.

In a country which does not recognize the equality of its GLBT citizens, it is important that their are media portrayals of us to assist in correcting the problem.

As diverse LGBT images in the media become more prevalent, the general public becomes exposed to the truth of the LGBT community: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are parents and teachers, law enforcement officers and soldiers, high school students and loving elderly couples. It is as important for LGBT Americans to see our lives reflected on screen as it is for others to be exposed to the rich tapestry of the LGBT community.